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by Published on 2014-03-03 06:08 PM

Update 2: Celestalon added some more clarifications:
Originally Posted by Celestalon (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Regarding Berserking and Blood Fury, also remember that we’re reducing the amount of cooldown stacking in the game, and more importantly, removing DoT snapshotting. That is effectively a significant nerf to Berserking and Blood Fury, since you'll no longer be able to extend their benefit long past their intended duration. We expect that these changes will bring Trolls and Orcs in line with other races (but not underpowered, either).

Regarding Touch of Elune, we're making all secondary stats useful to everyone (aside from Spirit for non-healers and Bonus Armor for non-tanks), and more closely balancing their value. As others have pointed out, there are no more haste breakpoints, so this doesn’t imply any gear changes should be made based on time of day.

Additionally, we do still want there to be some difference and choice between the racial abilities, which does mean that players who want to min/max to that degree may still find more value in another race. We don’t feel the difference, even in a worst case scenario, is going to be large enough that someone who wants to play a Night Elf should feel like they're making the wrong choice, but players who are only interested in what they feel are the best racials for their class or spec will have other race options available.

Update: Celestalon clarified why no changes to Every Man for Himself are listed:
Originally Posted by Celestalon (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Unlike the other racials that provide some type of CC-dispel, Every Man For Himself actually replaces a CC-Break PvP trinket; it isn’t in addition to it. So what you gain with EMFH is actually a trinket slot. Thus its power is very much related to what trinkets there are available. We're still determining our plan for PvP trinket itemization, so haven't decided on what to do with EMFH quite yet. It’s quite strong, and we agree that it looks unfair from those patch notes; we just haven't decided what to do with it yet. So, don't take that list as a statement that EMFH won't be changing somehow.

Warlords of Draenor Racial Traits
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re planning some changes to racial traits for Warlords of Draenor. We recently posted a Dev Watercooler (Pruning the Garden of War) that dives deeper into the philosophy behind these changes, and now we wanted to give you the full details of what’s coming.

In order to keep racials more in line with one another, we’ve decided to bring down a couple of high outliers, then establish a fair baseline and bring the other racials up to that. We’re accomplishing this by improving old passives, replacing obsolete ones, and adding a few new ones where necessary. Ultimately, our goal is to achieve much better parity among races.

There aren’t any current plans to change Pandaren or Worgen racials.

Blood Elf
  • Arcane Acuity is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike chance by 1%.
  • Arcane Torrent now restores 20 Runic Power for Death Knights (up from 15 Runic Power), 1 Holy Power for Paladins, or 3% of Mana for Mage, Priest, Warlocks (up from 2% of Mana). Other aspects of the ability remain unchanged.

  • Heroic Presence has been redesigned. It no longer increases Hit by 1%, and instead increases Strength, Agility, and Intellect, scaling with character level.
  • Gift of the Naaru now heals for the same amount over 5 seconds (down from 15 seconds).

  • Crack Shot has been removed (was 1% Expertise with ranged weapons).
  • Mace Specialization (was 1% Expertise with maces) has been replaced with Might of the Mountain.
    • Might of the Mountain is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike bonus damage and healing dealt by 2%.
  • Stoneform now also removes magic and curse effects in addition to poison, disease, and bleed effects, along with reducing damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds. It remains unusable while CC'd.

  • Expansive Mind now increases maximum Mana, Energy, Rage, and Runic Power by 5% instead of only increasing maximum Mana.
  • Escape Artist’s cooldown has been reduced to 1 minute (down from 1.5 minutes).
  • Shortblade Specialization (was 1% Expertise with one-handed swords and daggers) has been replaced with Nimble Fingers.
    • Nimble Fingers is a new racial passive ability that increases Haste by 1%.

  • Time is Money now grants a 1% increase to Haste (up from only attack speed and spell haste).

  • Mace Specialization has been removed (was 1% Expertise with maces).
  • Sword Specialization has been removed (was 1% Expertise with swords).
  • The Human Spirit has been redesigned. It no longer increases Spirit by 3%, and instead now increases two secondary stats by an amount scaling with character level. You can choose which two secondary stats it increases. This has not yet been implemented.

Night Elf
  • Quickness now also increases movement speed by 2% in addition to increasing Dodge chance by 2%.
  • Touch of Elune is a new passive ability which increases Haste by 1% at night, and Critical Strike Chance by 1% during the day.

  • Axe Specialization has been removed (was 1% Expertise with axes).
  • Hardiness now reduces the duration of Stun effects by 10% (down from 15%).

  • Brawn is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike bonus damage and healing done by 2%.
  • Endurance now increases Stamina by an amount scaling with character level, instead of increasing Base Health by 5%.

  • Berserking now increases Haste by 15% (down from 20%).
  • Beast Slaying now increases XP earned from killing Beasts by 20% instead of increasing damage dealt versus Beasts by 5%.
  • Dead Eye has been removed (was 1% Expertise with ranged weapons).

  • Will of the Forsaken’s cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes (up from 2 minutes).

Mists of Pandaria Digital Deluxe Edition Heading into the Blizzard Archive
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
In approximately one week (no sooner than March 10), the Mists of Pandaria Digital Deluxe edition will be earning a bit of much-deserved rest in the Blizzard Archive. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your standard edition for the in-game extras or contemplating coming back to the game to check out the latest content, you might want to consider snagging the Digital Deluxe Edition now before it heads into the vaults.

If you already own the standard edition of Mists of Pandaria and are interested in upgrading, you can head over to your account management page to do so now. The Digital Deluxe edition might come back out of the archive in the future, but even the jinyu waterspeakers don’t know if or when.

The Digital Deluxe edition of Mists of Pandaria includes the Imperial Quilen Mount, the Lucky Quilen Cub pet, a Mists of Pandaria–themed Diablo III banner sigil and accent, and Horde- and Alliance-themed StarCraft II portraits. Learn more about the Digital Deluxe Edition here.
by Published on 2014-03-02 10:24 PM

Reaper of Souls Launch Party Invitations are Out!, Diablo III Originally Had Branching Storylines, Wizard and Barbarian Builds

Top 5 Plays of the Week, Weekly News Recap

Skin Previews: Bone Abathur and Char Abathur

Warlords of Draenor Developer Interviews
There were a few developer interviews at the recent press events, so today we are taking a look at interviews with Ion Hazzikostas from Yogscast.

Warlords of Draenor Starting Experience
  • Everyone will have a starting experience in Warlords of Draenor, which will take place before the gameplay in the recent videos.
  • The normal experience takes place at the Dark Portal, having you go through to stop the impending Iron Horde invasion. You aren't able to defeat the Iron Horde, but you do stop the imminent threat.
  • Characters that are boosted to Level 90 will have a slightly different experience, with most of the skills removed from their bars and then having abilities unlocked again as they play.

  • Garrisons should give you access to portions of other professions without making the people that actually have the profession useless.
  • The mounts in your garrison's stable will be mounts that you own, based on the ones that you use the most.
  • Garrisons have a new NPC AI system that allows NPCs to behave less like the scripted NPCs we have now.
    • For example, the Blacksmith could wake up and go to work, work at his forge and become thirsty, eventually taking a break and going to the tavern, and ten finally going back to the barracks to sleep.
    • This improved AI was made necessary when the team decided to allow players to select where they place buildings in their garrison, making it impossible to pre-script and pre-place all of the NPC interactions.
    • This system might be used with NPCs in cities and other places in the future.
  • The location of buildings in your garrison is mostly for personal choice, as the gameplay element of garrisons is selecting which buildings you want for your limited plots.
  • The team is aware of the problem with the farm in Mists of Pandaria and doesn't want players to feel the need to have garrisons on their alts just to funnel resources to their main.
  • Players will want to check in with their garrison once per play session, maybe when they log in or out. It won't be a place to idle like cities currently are, as there is no auction house or bank.

Raiding / Misc
  • There aren't any plans for Mythic only bosses in the Patch 6.0 raids, but there will be some Mythic only elements of the fights, similar to the extra phase on Heroic Garrosh. Mythic only bosses will continue to be added when they make sense.
  • Ra-den didn't work out as intended. The boss wasn't tested publicly to ensure it remained a surprise and Ion wasn't able to spend as much time as he would have liked watching the internal testing sessions. This resulted in some loopholes in the fight making it live and Ra-den being easier than intended.
  • The team is aware that the timeline in older content is a little bit inconsistent, but updating the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King content would take away from Warlords of Draenor development.

Patch 5.4.7 Hotfixes - February 28
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
  • Dancing Rune Weapon's summoned rune weapon should no longer incorrectly cause NPC guards to attack the target instead of the Death Knight that summoned it.

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
  • Zen Pilgrimage: Return is no longer automatically removed from Monks that leave the Peak of Serenity.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Resolved a pathing issue with Intervene for Warriors with Glyph of the Watchful Eye equipped while in the Temple of Kotmogu.
  • Resolved a situation where players were able to retain the Readiness effect from trinkets without equipping them while in a Battleground.

Bug Fixes
  • Resolved a crash in the client that affected users running Windows XP: Service Pack 3.
  • Resolved a crash that could occur while loading into an area or instance.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
I can spec leeching&paralytic but only use 1, bad design or intended? (lock tal accounts for players taking link & sac)
We're OK with *occasionally* one talent making another talent a bad choice. (Celestalon)

Arcane Mages and Destruction Warlocks. Such mindless, spammy, 2-button specs. Really disheartening to watch, nevermind play.
If you think those specs are mindless 2-button rotations, you're not playing them even remotely to their fullest. (Celestalon)

Touch of the Grave doesn't act like other life steals in pvp, and mortal coil doesn't benefit from PVP power +healing. Intended?
Touch of the Grave I'm not sure; we'll be taking a close look at it following the racial changes.Mortal Coil sounds like a bug. (Celestalon)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
think all the hunter specs are very similar and only few skills change. What about making BM Melee ? BM God Rexxar had axes, too
We definitely agree that the hunter specs feel the same, and are taking steps to address that. Not melee BM though. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Do you consider boss spinning / mob-ball movement to grab Gift of Ox legit concern, or just intended part of mastering spec?
Intended part of mastering the spec. (Celestalon)
The penalty for a brewmaster moving to grab orbs is inflicted on melee/raid rather than the brewmaster tho...
No it's not. If your Brewmaster is moving the boss, or cleaving the raid/melee, he's moving more than he needs to be. (Celestalon)

Is there a Cooldown on Chi Explosion?
No. (Celestalon)
Does it replace Blackout Kick? Purify still has a purpose but BoK seems redundant with Chi Explosion.
We're still debating that. The reason not to is if you want to sometimes pool 1 chi for emergencies, so not spend all at once. (Celestalon)
Now that I think about it, will it function with the 5th chi from Ascension?
If you cast Chi Explosion with 5 Chi, your explosion hits the whole server....or you're just left with 1 Chi. One of the two. (Celestalon)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Also! Speaking of, any word on Paladin changes/L100 abilities since Blizzcon?
We put Seal of Faith back on our Shelf of Ideas That Have Potential But Aren't Ready For Primetime Yet. (Celestalon)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
please tell me some of the upkeep is being rolled in for sub rogues. Between that and positioning, it drives me away!
Upkeep? The upkeep of keeping your poison up? o.O (Celestalon)
meaning both rupture and snd - I meant in general not related to the new talent.
Ohhhh, sorry, just assumed due to timing.Sub upkeep: That's the point of subtlety. Subtlety gameplay is defined by that. (Celestalon)
Interesting I feel like many players would say FW is sub's defining mechanic.
FW is just one of the things that Subtlety asks you to juggle. (Celestalon)

Horde pvp population: are you just going to let things continue to get worse? Tilting AV and IoC to favor Horde will not help.
We're very concerned about the imbalance and queue times. We have plans but expacs are often the time when people switch. (holinka)

FYI: 1. The ladder is used to calculate rating thresholds for granting titles. 2. We then give titles to people with appropriate rating. (holinka)
Step 1 didn't take low level characters into account. Step 2 accidentally gave titles to low level characters with correct rating. (holinka)
So removing rewards from low level characters doesn't mean more people will get rewards. (holinka)

Good thread about H:A map imbalance in Random Battlegrounds
Forgot to mention Twin Peaks is down hill when running the flag as Horde. Slowfall + speed boost.
pretty sure slow fall has a speed cap on it for just this reason (holinka)
Not in normals afaik.
RBG win rates are very close to 50/50 on all of these maps (no matter which faction plays Alliance or Horde). (holinka)
Thats not very telling? Your system is designed to adjust ratings until 50:50 is achieved.
No that just further proves the point. In RBGs, team skill is equal and map balance would be the only variable. (holinka)

Will PvE realms face PvP realms in Ashran since PvP realms are horde dominated and there won't be enough allies?
It's possible that this will happen in some cases. We'll try to minimize that crossover as much as possible. (holinka)

Fan Art Update
Blizzard has updated the art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

by Published on 2014-03-01 02:23 AM

Dev Watercooler: Pruning the Garden of War Twitter Q&A

More 2.0.1 Hotfixes, Patch 2.0.1 In Pictures, Broken Armor Display, Character Slots, Client Patch Coming, Jaetch Wizard Build

Season 3 Ending Feb 28, Low Budget Tournament Decklists, Friday Night Swiss, Thrall

Patch 5.4.7 - Battleground Honor Increases
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve recently taken another look at the rate of Honor gains in various Battlegrounds, and have concluded that current Honor gains in several Battlegrounds are currently too low. To that end, we’ll be making several changes to the way that Honor bonuses are rewarded in those battlegrounds, as follows:

In Arathi Basin, Battle for Gilneas, and Eye of the Storm, we’ll be increasing the frequency at which you’ll be rewarded bonus Honor based on the points your team has earned. Currently, you earn bonus Honor every 260 points (or 200 if that battleground is the current Call to Arms) in these battlegrounds. As a part of this adjustment, we’re going to lower the number to 130 (or 100 during Call to Arms).

We’re also making a similar change to Silvershard Mines. Currently bonus Honor is earned for every 265 points (or every 160 if Silvershard is the current Call to Arms). After the change, you’ll earn bonus Honor every 200 points (or 130 during Call to Arms).

Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks are getting a slightly different treatment. Because these matches tend to take longer than the above Battlegrounds (which directly effects the rate at which you earn Honor from playing them) we wanted to make some changes to speed them up a bit. To do this we’re going to apply the Focused Assault debuff 1 minute after both flags have been picked up, which is 2 minutes earlier than it does currently. Once it’s begun to apply, it will continue to increase at the current rate of 1 stack every minute. On top of that, we’re adding a new bonus at the end of the match: For every flag you prevent the opposing team from capturing (so, every flag under 3), you’ll earn 18 extra Honor.

Lastly, in Strand of the Ancients, we’re doubling the bonus a team earns for destroying a gate (or preventing it from being destroyed).

These hotfixes are currently in production, and will be applied as soon as they are ready. We’ll have an update in the official Hotfix blog once they’re active. We look forward to seeing you on the fields of battle!

From my interpretation, I doubt this hotfix affects reputation gains as they are not trying to change that, only honor gains.
Correct, these fixes only apply to Honor gains.

Will this be in rated as well?
The Focused Assault change applies to Rated Warsong and Twin Peaks matches as well, yes.

Warlords of Draenor - Stat Squish
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This is insane, we all know that, but why did blizzard do it to begin with considering they knew for years things are getting out of control?

In simple terms: getting upgrades feels good. An exponential curve of player power inflation via item levels is fully understood and expected as getting loot that is better than your current loot is much of the tangible reward structure in the game. There is a "How much better does it need to be to feel like an upgrade?" factor, and while those specifics have changed over the years the philosophy remains the same. We could change how the game works, and your character's progression could be rewarded in other ways, but World of Warcraft is kind of all about being an awesome hero and slaying giant dragons to take their sweet loots. Regardless of the rate of inflation it is still inflation if people's gear is getting better, and we'll end up at a squish sooner or later if the inflation is having an unmitigatable effect. In this case it took about 10 years to get there.

Warlords of Draenor - System Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Removing burst, removing CC, removing disarm, removing stats, etc etc.
Scary? Why would it be scary to have less things to do, less choices to make?
A wise man once said a game is a series of interesting choices. For some the takeaway from that is more choices mean a better game. In general I see the Blizzard approach as a focus on emphasizing what an interesting choice is. Interesting choices can offer depth and complexity without needing to be numerous and overwhelming for the sake of being overwhelming. It's easy to throw all of the paint on the floor and say it's done. It's far more difficult to properly mix, and restrain, and balance elements. Looking at chess, there are relatively few pieces with few "abilities", it's a near-infinitely deep and complex game, and strategies for it continue to evolve even hundreds of years later. Certainly someone could introduce dozens of new chess pieces, dozens of new choices, and there would be some subset of players who would enjoy it more purely due to an increase in complexity.

Over time as new systems are introduced to WoW, others are removed, and iteration happens on current mechanics, these things tend to become more complex at no fault of their own. I think any designer would agree that it's not the fault of the player that the game's systems get more and more complex over time as changes are made. It's a snowball effect for sure, and it's not the player's fault when things get out of control over years and years of patches and iteration and inflation of complexity. It's just difficult to predict what the game will be like a few years from now, and only approaching design from that future-angle would likely mean less active design to help address current issues (something we wouldn't want to do). But at the very least we can recognize when we need to reevaluate the corner we've painted ourselves into, can enact that change in an intelligent way that makes the game better, and ideally be able to explain clearly why we're making it.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Proving Grounds Balance
A couple things to quickly point out before I run to a meeting:

A fresh level 90 in quest greens could clear all Heroic raids. Being present for a boss kill is not the same as personal competence, so it's not a particularly compelling argument against Proving Grounds being able to measure skill. Not saying you're getting carried or anything of the sort, but being wholly reliant on yourself vs. being a part of a group is just a different dynamic.

But secondly we do understand there are some balancing challenges for Proving Grounds which we do intend to address for Warlords. There are scaling difficulties that will be overcome partly by stat changes happening in the expansion, but those that aren't we'll ensure are tuned appropriately. Our goal is not to intentionally keep any class or spec from being able to achieve Silver if the person playing them is playing them well. Endless is intended to be a brutally difficult challenge of skill, Silver is just supposed to show you have a pulse and a general understanding of your class. It's Captcha of dungeon queuing. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlords of Draenor - Watercooler Feedback
I thought it was a great article on "why". I think the dissapointment people are showing is that they expected more if "what" is changing.
To a large extent, those that have been avid readers on the forums are already well informed; having been following every bit of information that has come out (and conveniently forgotten the parts that actually were new).

This is part of a test for the new formatting that we're going to be trying out for patch notes minus the patch notes. When this gets paired with the patch notes it should provide much better context for the changes and avoid a large part of the /angry when people have no idea why X or Y got changed the way it did.

For others, the compiled info is a great way to get up to speed on what's happening so far and what's coming down the pipeline. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
In other words, the heck does Chaos Damage even mean?
No. Chaos Damage is damage whose school time is Fire+Frost+Nature+Arcane+Shadow+Holy+Physical. Uses Lowest of those resists. (Celestalon)
(In this context, Armor is effectively Physical Resist) (Celestalon)
Alright, so only gets reduced if Armor is the lowest resist, cheers!
Yeah, which would basically be impossible to have happen in any reasonable situation. Maybe a naked Paladin with Divine Protection. (Celestalon)
Pretty much, or if a boss takes less magic damage somehow perhaps?
Yeah, though I can't recall the last time we did something like that. (Celestalon)
and what about divine star? Divine heal
Divine = Holy+Arcane, though we're considering changing that in Warlords; it feels out of place. (Celestalon)
what is the goal of chaos and divine school? magic resist are gone at this moment
Flavor. (Celestalon)
Ok, can you explain me why CHAOS bolt is shadow damage and not chaos?^^
Because the gameplay effect of it being chaos was more detrimental than the upside of the flavor... (Celestalon)
...That being that if you got interrupted while casting a Chaos school spell, it locks out *ALL* spells. (Celestalon)
In the future since Crit Damage is reduced against players, Can we see the Chaos Bolt PvP nerf removed?Feels like CB won't hit hard
We'll tune appropriately under those conditions when the time comes. (holinka)

Reply to In order for the tank to do more dmg they have to be tanking, can't have everyone tanking so why would you bring tanks?
Tanks will no longer have to be tanking in order to do near full damage. (Celestalon)

What I'm saying is, in short, why not shoot for balance within a class at least on most situations?
We shoot for balance across all classes. Just because two specs of a class are overpowered, doesn't mean the 3rd is underpowered (Celestalon)
Shouldn't there at least be a middle trend in inner-class balance though? E.g., Frost mages probably OP, but (c)
No, we compare specs to all of the other specs, not just specs of the same class. (Celestalon)
So, Class vs. Class > Spec vs. spec overall, then? I can see it but it bothers me as an advocate of playstyle choice.
I think the point that you're missing is that one encapsulates the other. We want Specs to be balanced, INCLUDING vs same class. (Celestalon)

Will spell cast animations while holding weapons/staves be added with the model rework or considered for the future?
That was seriously considered once (LOOONG ago) and fell off the table; could always come up again! (Dave_Maldo)

Weapons as big as possible? Comment may be ill-placed but Draenei & Blood Elf girls would like to have a word with you.
Some race/gender combos were intentionally kept smaller. It was a conscious Art Direction call. Not debating; just explaining. (Dave_Maldo)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
With parry and dodge being removed, what do you plan to compensate warrior's revenge procs ?
They're only removed from gear, not removed as concepts. (Celestalon)
I read that STR continues to increase parry. Will we have a way to increase dodge or will it stay static?
Undecided. Class abilities likely to increase at least one of them. (Celestalon)
why continue removing stats like this? hasn't theorycrafting proven its value to community development?
We're actually adding stats. We're making sure stats are more widely useful and fun. (Celestalon)
please make all stats for all specs much more equal in wod. Don't want what should be an upgrade to feel bad.
Yes, making all stats much closer in value is planned for WoD. (Celestalon)

Not sure if you'd be the person to ask this to, but will hunter pets inherit new stats such as life steal, and will it heal pet
Yes. (Celestalon)

PvP the mmr is messed up but it isn't really pilots like he points out.
The MMR system received a lot of attention in 5.4.7 to address this issue & known exploits. Looking forward to seeing it live. (holinka)

Will crit be 150% all the time or just in PvP?
Just in PvP. Likewise Multistrike will only get 1 extra roll against players (instead of 2 against monsters). (holinka)

Please no random queue arenas. Matchmaking content (LFR) is so toxic as is because gear isn’t a good incentive to cooperate well
I agree there are big challenges there. (holinka)

Why not use more ilvl budget on +stam in WoD PvP? Makes PvP gear mandatory to survive burst.
That last sentence is why. Get a lot more complaints about dying super fast than not being able to kill someone. (holinka)

Timey-wimey question: If Draenor Drek'Thar dies, does that mean that AV Drek'Thar dies too?
Warlords takes place in an alternate Draenor. Events there won't change our past. BUT, they ARE threatening our present! (Source)

US Connected Realms - Update 2/28
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As previously announced, we’ve been working toward connecting realms to increase the number of players on low-population realms, and since then have completed several connections. As a part of our ongoing communication, we wanted to provide you with an update that contains a list of completed realm connections, currently planned connections, and any additional future plans in one convenient location.

*Please note this list does not encompass all potential future connections. Please check back for further updates.

Future Connections
We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, March 6 [/b]during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PST through approximately 1:00 p.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Drak'thul and Skywall
  • Eredar and Gorefiend/Wildhammer/Spinebreaker
  • Ghostlands and Kael'thas
  • Thunderlord and Azgalor/Azshara/Destromath

We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, March 13 during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PST through approximately 1:00 p.m. PST. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Borean Tundra and Shadowsong
  • Dreadmaul and Thaurissan
  • Exodar and Medivh
  • Scarlet Crusade and Feathermoon

We do not have a date for the following realm connections, but will update this post when we do.

  • Drenden and Arathor
  • Thorium Brotherhood and Farstriders/Silverhand
  • Sentinels and Kirin Tor/Steamwheedle Cartel

Postponed Until a Future Time
  • Alterac Mountains and Balnazzar/Gorgonnash/The Forgotten Coast/ Warsong
  • Elune and Gilneas
  • Sisters of Elune and Cenarion Circle

*Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

Fan Art Update
Blizzard has updated the art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

by Published on 2014-02-28 04:01 AM

Dev Watercooler: Pruning the Garden of War

Patch 2.0.1 Hotfixes - Updated 2/27, Chest Farming is Being Hotfixed, The Great Blue Clarifications Post, AH BoA Issue is Fixed

Thrall, the Shaman

Money Pig Alternative Mount Skins, Skin: Red Prince Arthas

Dev Watercooler: Pruning the Garden of War Twitter Q&A
Celestalon and Holinka answered some questions on Twitter that arose from the Watercooler posted earlier tonight.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
Future Blog Posts
You're better off making a blue post about racials/class abilities rather than tweets. Info overload! future watercooler?
Working on it, just wasn't ready in time, and didn't want to delay the blog post. (Source)

To those /sadpanding at the blog, you're not after the philosophy. You're after the patch notes which still aren't available yet. (Rygarius)

Alliance Racials
Humans lose the Mace/Sword racials. The Human Spirit becomes +X to two secondary stats of your choice. (Source)
Change to Human Spirit seems really cool. Can you talk about the interface for choosing which secondary stats it'll give you?
Still designing it. Probably a flyout button of some sort (like Rogue Poisons, Mage Portals, etc) (Source)
The idea is interesting, but are you worried it will be too strong since it's customizable? Or just needs proper tuning
The downside is that it's split between two. If haste is your best stat, 1% haste is better than 0.5%haste + 0.5% crit. (Source)

Weapon Specialization racials are removed because Hit/Exp are removed. (Source)

Draenei's Heroic Presence is now +X to your primary stat. Gift of the Naaru heals for the same amount but over 5sec. (Source)

Night Elves' Quickness also increases movement speed by 2% passively. They also got a new passive which is quite unique... (Remember, no more haste breakpoints!) Touch of Elune, a new passive which grants 1% Haste at night, 1% Crit during the day. (Source)
Might annoy some specs that benefit from one stat but not another (e.g. feral druids benefit from crit, but not haste)
We're making sure that everyone benefits from them. (Source)
Shadowmeld is unchanged. (Source)

Gnomes' Escape Artist dropped to a 1min CD (from 1.5min), and Shortblade Specialization became Nimble Fingers, 1% Haste. Also a tweak to Expansive Mind. Was +5% max Mana. Now +5% Max Mana, Energy, Rage, or Runic Power. (Source)

Darkflight is staying unchanged. (Source)

Dwarves lost Crack Shot and Mace Specialization. Gained Might of the Mountain, a passive which adds 2% Crit Damage and Healing. Also a change to Stoneform: Also removes Magic/Curse. HOWEVER, it still cannot be used while CC'd. (It is still NOT a CC-break) (Source)

Horde Racials
Undead are seeing relatively few changes. Tweaks to the scaling rate of Touch of the Grave, and WotF to 3min CD (up from 2). (Source)

Blood Elves gain Arcane Acuity, a 1% crit passive. Arcane Torrent now restores 20RunicPower, or 1HoPo, or 3% Mana. (Also, Rage and Chi) (Source)

Orcs were one of the outliers we brought down. Lost the Axe Specialization, and Hardiness is 10% Stun reduction (down from 15%). (Source)
Blood Fury is unchanged. Every Man For Himself, we're still evaluating. Itemization changes may mean no nerf needed. (Source)

Tauren's Endurance becomes +X Stamina. Brawn is a new passive which increases Crit Damage/Healing by 2%. (Source)

Can you tell us what exactly will be changing with the Troll racial Berserking?
Reduced to 15% Haste (down from 20%). (Source)

Will there be any changes to Worgen and Goblin racials?
Not much. They were about at baseline. Time is Money becomes real 1% Haste, not just attack speed / cast speed. Subtle diff. (Source)

Re the squish, simple yes/no question-- will noninstanced world bosses like Oondasta be soloable at level 100?
I'd be surprised if really skilled players didn't solo him at 100. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if a couple are close already. (Source)

Any idea what enchants & set bonuses that currently reduce disarm duration will turn into?
We'll change the set bonuses but the weapon chains won't be relevant anymore. (Source)

PvP trinkets now grant immunity to reapplication of an effect from the same spell= bad idea, everything else good.
You actually want to trinket a Solar Beam, and have it instantly reapply to you? (Source)

"Long fears are now shorter in PvP due to the added benefit of a fear changing the players position." How short?
6sec instead of 8sec. (Source)

Is paralyze dispellable? Like cyclone is going to be.
It's a physical effect, like gouge, so it can't be dispelled.
Cyclone is not a physical effect?
No it's magic
Magic in WoD, you mean? It's always been Physical CC.
It's more of a "behind the curtain" thing here. It's actually magic, it just isn't dispellable. (Source)

Can we expect more relative damage in WoD with the reduced amount of cc?
We're reducing crit damage done to players by 25% (i.e. crits do 150% damage against players). Damage will be more consistent. (Source)

The blog doesn't mention abilities that break CC, which is significantly more powerful (Lichborne, Fear Ward, TT, BRage..)
In a world where we have too much CC and we're trying to tip the balance away, I can't see going after breaks as aggressively. (Source)
What about mechanics like subterfuge/dematerialize? Those are really bad mechanics..
Subterfuge no longer leaves the rogue in stealth but provides the rogue access to stealth abilities. (Source)
Will there be changes to all the root breaks that melee have now that they all share a DR and we have less instants?
Certainly concerned about all the root breaks. We haven't arrived at exactly what we want there yet.
What about interrupts? Skull bash/rebuke staying?
Interrupts are staying. We think their gameplay is more interesting than blanket silences. (Source)
If interrupts dont have globalCD & casters dont cast a lot,then I disagree.Its just random, no-skill
Our other changes will mean a lot more casting, fewer instants. (Source)
Will Interrupts remain off the GCD?
Yes, that's just a gameplay feel issue. (Source)

Confused about "Removed Silence effects from interrupts." No more 3s lockout on kick?
No more silence on counterspell, spear hand strike, silencing shot, etc. Things that added a silence to an interrupt. But a spell that is specifically a silence, like, well Silence, isn't going away. (Source)
So no more blanket silence as a CC unless Spriest?
There are others like Strangulate. (Source)
Short silence, or wait for a cast for a longer interrupt. how is that not a choice?
Disagree. It feels like people more often use it to silence and the lock out ends up as a bonus. (Source)
What about the "Spell locks"? Will Wind Shear still have a 2 sec lockout and will CS keep it's X secs?
Yeah, interrupts still lockout the interrupted spell school for X sec. (Source)

Are you going to do some kind of pass with the goal of equalizing CC is some way? IE: Each class has like 1-2 CC spells?
Some classes will have more control than others. (Source)

Are PvP set bonuses going to be reworked? I think it would be cool if they were really interesting like PvE bonuses.
Probably. Some classes rely on their set bonuses more than others. (Source)

With the stat squish, number retuning, and CC changes are you looking to make PVP fights overall longer or shorter?
We'd like to see people rotting and healers having to triage more. No one likes 100-0 gameplay.
So overall it would take longer to die/kill someone, but it is also much harder to heal someone back to full?
That would be the goal (Source)

Regarding removing CDs, which is likely gonna be cut for Ferals Berserk or Tiger Fury or both?
Both of those are staying. Tiger's Fury is on the border between feeling like a DPS cooldown and a rotational button. Keeping it because it has significant impact on your rotation; good gameplay. (Source)

So the 197 of CJL's damage (6 * (197 + 1[1.2] * Attack power * 0.386) is going away?
Correct, no more base damage on spells. (Source)

Does "One type of ability that we focused on removing is temporary power buffs (aka "cooldowns")" mean hero/lust/windfury/etc?
We're keeping Bloodlust/Heroism as the only raid-wide throughput cooldown. No more Stormlash/SkullBanner. Time Warp, Ancient Hysteria stay. We count those all as the same thing, just different sources of the same buff.(Source)
When are we getting those changed from Haste to Amp? Makes much better sense as raid cooldown
Based on our experiments with the SoO trinkets, we're holding off on doing Amp and Cleave as stats, at least for now. (Source)
Plans for a different new secondary to take its place then? DPS could use more options. (I know readiness+multistrike)
Crit/Haste/Mastery/Readiness/Multistrike. We think 5 is enough for now. Will make sure none are terrible. (Source)

What of the Raid Wide CDs, other than Bloodlust, like devotion aura?
Defensive cooldowns stay. May tweak them of course, but as a concept they stay. Only offensive one will be Bloodlust (etc). (Source)
Wait, the ONLY offensive cooldown will be Hero/BL/etc? Every other one is gone?
No, only *raid-wide* offensive cooldown is Bloodlust. I'm referring to removing Stormlash and Skull Banner. (Source)

I'm worried that class flavour spells are going to vanish. Things that don't take up keybind space, like Enslave Demon/Undead.
We're less concerned about removing those (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Death Knights' runeforges. Anything new there, yet?
Couple tweaks, but nothing ready to announce yet. Not an overhaul. (Source)

DKs don't fit in a world with fewer CCs.They r essentially gonna become immune CC.(other than slow/root)
Then root them? (Source)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Can you still NS healing abilities? or is NS just going completely?
You can NS all other spells. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
What about Silence/Counter Shot for Hunters. How will you go about changing these?
Counter Shot stays, Silencing Shot goes (Source)

NS Clone/PoM poly gone is a good change. Wyvern Sting gone as well I presume?
Wyvern is still available. Hunters have had other changes to their CC (Silencing Shot gone for example). (Source)

With all incap sharing DR will scatter and trap now DR w/ each other? How will hunters land traps?
Scatter Shot is gone. Traps arm and activate instantly. (Source)
"arms and active instantly"? Does that mean it can be fired at a person directly to be trapped? No luncher
No, it has to be placed and has a travel time. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
How will combustion work in relation to the new "dynamic" dots? Popping CDs just to have them be meaningless after
Combustion is based on the damage of the Ignite, so will not dynamically change. (Source)

Re pet-cast CC: Freeze going away? If so, room for a non-CC replacement?
Water Elemental Freeze is staying. However, there is a minor talent that teaches Squirt a new spell that shares a cooldown with it (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Divine favor is gone right?
Healadins had a whole bunch of cooldowns. Merged some of them together. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
For example, are Combat Rogues going to See AR and Shadow Blades combined?
Killing Spree and Adrenaline Rush for Combat, Vendetta for Assassination, Shadow Dance for Subtlety. Plus talents. (Source)

Shadow blades gone? I'd love that.
Yes, Shadow Blades lost the roll of which Rogue cooldown to cut. (Source)

Is preparation considered bloat? I think it's good having the choice, I hate abilities with 2 charges it promotes tunelling
We're exploring an idea where Preparation becomes a passive. Details still being worked out. (Source)

Removing tricks damage modifier as well, yes please?
Yes, Tricks of the Trade no longer increases damage. Yay! (Source)
Is it going to be free, then?
Oh, yes. Tricks is free. (Source)
Awesome, now it's pure utility! It's not as needed anymore with threat buffs it's still an old fav
Indeed. We expect it to be used for helping pick up new adds, that sort of thing. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Regarding pet-cast CC, will Seduction still be in the game as it currently exists?
A nerfed version. We don't like so much CC coming from the pets. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
The blog post implies that Charge is going to be changed to a root after all?
Yes Charge will become a root. Our stance was we liked that change, but 5.4.7 wasn't the right time to do it. (Source)
Will Warbringer still add a stun? That will be the only choice for PVP, jumping charges with Freedom/druid shifting/windwalk totem
Yes, Warbringer will be a short stun off DR. Players will be able to get the same behavior with a talent.
Warbringer stun off of DR seems counter to the idea that all stuns share a DR.
There are a number things with very short duration that do not share DR. (Source)
Clarify very short? Heard warbringer will be a 3 second stun. Also presume they DR with themselves? (warbringer rotations in RBGs)
Basically baseline charge, 1.5 seconds. (Source)
Charge should remain as is change the talents instead!
We like the added mobility that the talents give, but charge stun every 12 seconds is too much. (Source)

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